LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said the party would once again take to the streets if justice was not done in the NA-122 by-election case. He was commenting on rejection of Abdul Aleem Khan’s petition by an election tribunal on Tuesday.
He was addressing a press conference flanked by PTI central information secretary Naeem ul Haque, PTI Chief Election Commissioner Tasneem Noorani and PTI provincial election commissioner Col (retd) Ejaz Minhas. Former attorney general Irfan Qadir was also welcomed to the party on this occasion.
Commenting on the tribunal’s ruling, Khan said thousands of votes had been transferred from the constituency ahead of the by-polls in October last year.
“All we asked the NADRA was to verify where these votes came from,” said Khan said.
After the ruling on Tuesday, Aleem Khan had alleged that 30,500 votes were transferred ahead of the by-polls. He said the election commission had verified only 812 votes.
To a question about the possibility of a street protest, Khan said if justice was not dispensed, there would be no option left.
“If those found guilty of rigging are not punished, all attempts to introduce electoral reforms will be futile” he said.
Khan also spoke about the new one-SMS voter registration system to be used for the membership drive for the PTI’s intra-party polls.
He said party officer bearers would be directly elected in the intra-party polls. He dismissed rumours of formation of factions in the elections. “The issue of holding intra party elections at the union council level is still under consideration,” said Khan.
Khan advised the candidates to refrain from badmouthing their colleagues.
Answering a query regarding schools security, he said no risks should be taken in this regard. Khan said the National Action Plan was a comprehensive plan, he urged the military and political leadership to look beyond the success of one operation and work on a long-term solution.
Claiming an 87 per cent decline in terrorist attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan said despite this it still important to ensure security for the more than 64,000 educational institutions in the province.
Khan also lauded Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif for announcing that he would not seek an extension to his tenure.
Khan said Sharif had raised his stature in the eyes of the public. “Through this announcement, he has made the institution supreme rather than an individual,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2016.